Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bean Threads w/Tofu and Vegetables

I LOVE this dish!! If you like tofu, this is a fantastic and easy dish....hey, if I'm cooking it, it's really easy!! Enjoy!!

Bean Threads w/Tofu & Vegetables

8 ounces firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 can (14.5 ounces) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (3 3/4 ounces) uncooked bean threads
1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetable medley (ex: broccoli, carrots & red pepper, thawed)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Place tofu on shallow plate, drizzle with oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce.

2. Combine broth and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce in deep skillet or large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Add bean threads; simmer, uncovered, 7 minutes or until noodles absorb liquid, stirring occasionally to separate noodles

3. Stir in vegetables and vinegar; heat through. Stir in tofu mixture and red pepper flakes; heat through, about 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrients per Serving: 1/4 of total recipe
Calories: 251, Calories from Fat: 32%, Total Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 195mg, Carbohydrate: 35g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 12g

Dietary Exchanges: 2 Startch, 1 Vegetable, 1/2 Lean meat, 1 Fat

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Nutty Spice Cookies

Happy Holidays!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas!

Here is a holiday cookie recipe that is yummy and healthy! Enjoy!

Nutty Spice Cookies

1/2 cup light molasses
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts


1. Spray cookie sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Stir molasses, sugar, egg substitute, water and oil in medium bowl until sugar is dissolved.

3. Sift flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves into large bowl, stir to combine. Add molasses mixture, stir with wooden spoon until smooth. (Dough will be stiff.) Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

4. Preheat oven to 375*F. Roll out dough into 12-inch square on floured surface. If dough cracks, press together. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over dough, pressing nuts into dough with fingers. Cut square into 8 lengthwise strips, and then 8 crosswise strips to form 64 squares.

5. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely. Sotre in airtight container. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Nutrients per Serving: 1 Cookie
Calories: 34, Calories from Fat: 20%, Total Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: ,1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 15mg, Carbohydrate: 6g, Dietary Fiber: ,1g, Protein: 1g

Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 Starch

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holiday Workout!!

Last night I attended my final Last Chance Workout at Gold's Gym, where the trainer once again, kicked out butts!! We ran a lot as well as some circuit weights and a great deal of core training with the medicine balls! It felt amazing to work that hard in the gym and burn off calories before the upcoming holiday meals!

I also attended a cycling class this morning....taught by the same trainer.....and had an amazing class. I would highly recommend cycling, or spinning, classes to anyone who is working toward losing weight. I find the cycling classes to be huge calorie burners, and a place where you can really control how hard you work. I generally turn the resistance on the bike to high so I'm working to my fullest potential, but on days when I'm not feeling it, I can keep the resistance low and still get a decent workout. I would encourage anyone who hasn't tried cycling to get out there and check it out!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday No-Splurge Tips

I love reading the Prevention website and picking up wonderful tips on healthy eating and exercise. Here is a great article that will help over the next 2 weeks of holiday party bliss! It's hard to attend soiree after soiree without sampling all the tasty treats that are available. These tips will help you continue to enjoy the tasty treats while not sabotaging your weight!

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my personal favorites and a dish that I make often. If you love pot pie's but don't love what they offer for nutrition, then this is a recipe for you.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 teaspoons margarine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 reduced-fat refrigerated crescent rolls

1. Heat margarine and 2 tablespoons chicken broth in medium saucepan until margarine is melted. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and celery. Cook 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetable are tender, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth; cook and stir until liquid thickens. Reduce heat and stir in half-and-half. Add chicken, dill, salt, and black pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 375*F. Spray 1-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon chicken misture into prepared dish. Roll out crescent rolls and place on top of chicken mixture.

4. Bake pot pie 20 minutes or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly. Makes 4 (1-cup) servings.

TIP: For 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast, gently simmer 4 small chicken breasts in 2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth about 20 minutes or until meat is no lnger pink in center. Cool and cut into cubes. Reserve chicken broth for pot pie, if desired.

Nutrients per serving: 1 cup
Calories: 286, Calories fromm Fat: 27%, Total Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 740mg, Carbohydrate: 25g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 26g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby Steps

I finally decided to plow the driveway and head to the gym! OK, it wasn't that bad b/c my husband had already plowed 3 times, but the overnight snow forced me to pull out the snow blower before I could head out of the house.

I really wanted to head to the gym to get some running in and see how my body responds. The training schedule for San Diego begins in a month, so I need to make sure my body is ready for that level of running again. I did about 40 minutes on the elliptical and then headed over to the treadmill for the last 20 minutes. I ran for about 10 minutes in intervals and it felt good. I think it will be OK! I'm still not sure if Derek is on board yet......we talked about the schedule and we will make a decision about registering by the end of next month.

On another note, I got on the scale this morning and I'm down 5lbs over the past week! I'm feeling good and happy to see my injury weight beginning to disappear!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Bound Workouts

We have been hit with a significant amount of snow up here in the northeast, which has kept me from heading to the gym.........Well, I could have gone, but my motivation level was rather low b/c going to the gym would require plowing the driveway and dealing with holiday traffic in the snow. That is not my idea of a good time, so I moved my workouts to my house for a few days.

One of the best forms of at home exercise is playing in the snow! At least, that's how I feel about it. I took Guinness out to play in 1 1/2 feet of snow and he loved it while I got an incredible cardio workout. Running through that much snow gave my legs some resistance, while getting my heart rate up. It was also wonderful for Guinness because he was able to work out a good amount of energy. So, dog or not, just get out there and run around, play, make snow angels, and enjoy it! I had forgotten how much fun it was to play in the snow......Why is it that we only do that as children?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My dog....

OK, this is totally not exercise/nutrition related, but I just need to put it out there. Thank the high heavens that my Guinness understands the Christmas tree concept this year! Last year within 24 hours of putting it up, he lifted his leg on it! Ugh! I understand it's confusing for a dog (he pees on trees outside), but seriously! So, he has now learned that one must never tinkle in the house, even if the tree is there.

Last Chance #3

We were introduced to some new exercises last night that really focused on our core muscle group. The gym has some new weights called kettle bell weights which provided a kick butt arm, shoulder, and overall core workout! We also did a good amount of work with the medicine balls and the bosu, again, all focusing on our core. It was fantastic!! On Thursday we are going to work with the resistance bands and the weight bars for a different kind of workout.

On another note, I put together an 18 week training schedule for Derek and myself to prepare for San Diego.......and I haven't heard from D since then? I wonder, did I scare the crap out of him.....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

I just came across this recipe on the Biggest Loser website and it looks fantastic!! I can't wait to try it! Enjoy!!

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper. Season to taste with salt. Toss to mix. Drizzle on the oil and toss again. Transfer the mixture to a small non-stick baking dish and place in oven.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, tossing once, or until lightly browned and crisp-tender.

Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving: 104 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, <1 saturated fat, <1 polyunsaturated fat, 4 monounsaturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 121 mg sodium

From "The Biggest Loser Cookbook" by Chef Devin Alexander. © 2006 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP, The Biggest Loser ™ and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Last Chance Workout #2

I went to my Bootcamp style Last Chance Workout tonight and wow......I was either going to throw up or start crying! It was super hard but I loved it!! Once again we started with a cardio warmup that included sprints, but this time we also rotated the sprints with jumping jacks, squat thrusts, and high knees. We then went to circuit weights and core training and ended with abs. I think the "round the clock" push-ups hit me the hardest. Ugh! They came about 45 min into the workout and were killer, but totally worth it! I felt fantastic after the workout! I'm actually excited to go to the Tuesday workout now that I have completed grad classes for the semester.

Gold's also began advertising their Body Transformation this week. I grabbed a flier and will be signing up soon! It starts Jan. 14 and I can't wait!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Webster Park Trails

This morning I decided to begin with a trail jog in Webster park with Guinness, before I headed to the gym. We had a fabulous romp in the woods and Guinness was able to burn up some of his unending energy! Once we get deep into the trails, I let him off leash and he just runs and checks everything out and has a blast. It's fun to watch....until he dives off the footbridge into the creek and the more I yell at him to get out, the more he splashes around. Nice. I have an ornery dog. I should have learned by now, this happens at least once every time we are at the park! We even encountered a deer at one point and I think she startled us as much as we startled her! I jogged along behind Guinness and got a little workout in for myself while he was exploring. I really like trail running! It's so peaceful and beautiful running through the woods.

Once I brought Guinness home and gave him a bath, I headed out to the gym to spend some quality time with the elliptical trainer. I also focused on some lower body weights to round out my exercise for the day. It has been a great morning!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Last Chance Workout @ Gold's Gym

Tonight began this month's Last Chance Workout program where we meet twice a week for a 1 hour, 10 person, bootcamp type training with Paige, one of the gym trainers. It was fantastic!! She absolutely kicked our butts all over the place, starting with some sprints and ending with some core ab work. We started with a warm-up of jogging and sprints and then moved to a circuit training type workout where we spent 1 minute at each of 10 stations. Each station had 3 different exercises, so we rotated through the full circuit 3 times. We then moved into about 10 minutes of ab work. I can't wait until the next session!! It definitely works for me and I look forward to getting back in shape! It's amazing how quickly one can get out of shape.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Healthy and fun Holiday Dip

A few weeks ago I attended our 10th annual Friends Thanksgiving at Deb & Mark's house, where I discovered a bead dip that was simply to die for!! My friend Jane made this bean dip that is amazingly healthy, crazy delicious, and totally addicting!! I made it last sunday for a football party and I just made it again this morning for one of my grad classes this evening. I might even make it for a holiday dinner on Friday!!

Here is the recipe & I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!! Thank you Jane!!

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato diced
1 avocado diced
1 large clove of garlic crushed
Mix and season with sea salt and lime juice to taste

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Once again, my family came to our house for our second annual smoked turkey dinner! Our neighbor owns Beale Street Cafe and brings the smoker to his house every year so he can smoke the neighborhood turkey's. We brought the turkey over a little before 8am and then chatted with them over coffee and muffins. On our way back across the street, Alex was wondering why there was an endless line of vehicles heading toward the lake. I reminded him that the annual Webster Turkey Trot was about to start just about a half mile from our house. I was so bummed that I couldn't run this year as that was such a fantastic way to start the holiday last year. Going into Thanksgiving dinner with a negative calorie count is always a good idea!! However, I'm sticking to my no running until January policy, so I will have to look forward to continuing the tradition of a Thanksgiving run next year. Congrats to all who finished Turkey Trot's and other races around our area! I'll be out there pounding the pavement next year!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What a day....

Yesterday started out just like any other Thursday. I got up at 5am, got ready for my internship and headed over to the high school around 6:45am. Little did I know I would spend nearly 3 hours in a locked down situation at school. We were conducting instant application day with our seniors and local colleges when the principal came through, pulled the counselors in an office and told us we would be going into lockdown in the next few minutes due to possible weapons on campus. One of the counselors went back to alert the admissions reps and the rest of us stayed with the students to make sure they stayed calm when the announcement was made. I don't even know if I had any feelings at that point....I think it was just shock that took over and then making sure the students were safe became my top priority.

We spent the next few hours talking with the students, each other, and the college reps. We checked the websites of local TV stations to see what was being reported because we didn't know much of what was happening in the school. Our offices face the front of the building, so we were watching the cops pulling in throughout the day and all the live trucks setting up at the McDonald's on the corner (they closed the street in front of the school). We also saw a student being taken away in handcuffs and a lot of canine units coming into the school. Unfortunately, because we really didn't know what was going on, we had to rely on what we were observing outside of the building.

It was incredibly interesting to be in the office with about 22 seniors over that period of time. They started the day all sitting in their chairs and facing forward, with little pockets of students chatting and hanging out together. About half way through, we noticed that they started creating more of a circle and people started moving their chairs in to be a part of the conversation. One student and I were talking about how she was excited because she had never talked to some of these other students and now she feels she made some new friends. It was so incredibly uplifting to watch these students make connections over the 3 hour period. Overall, our group of students were fantastic throughout this experience. They shared their feelings and frustrations with their school, not only with each other, but also with us. Hearing the stories that some of these kids have and the things that they have seen just blew my mind. Their resiliency is amazing and powerful. After a while of letting them chat, we brought our some sandwiches, chips, and sodas (we had a lot of food because of the college reps) because many of the students missed their lunch and then one of the counselors got out a bunch of Kush (sp?) balls and they played some games to pass the time.

Throughout the day, I started receiving text messages and calls from friends, as well as Alex, just trying to find out if I was safe and what was happening. I have to say, I never at any point felt unsafe in the office with the students and other counselors. I never felt uneasy at all. Maybe it was because we had the college reps and a bunch of seniors that really kept my mind off what was happening. Regardless, I found it interesting that fear never entered my being.

Finally, after almost 3 hours, the students were systematically released from the building, the college reps had a police escort to their cars, and there was a big sigh of relief in the building.....that was followed by anger. In the counseling office, we threw a Motown CD in the radio and started dancing just to release some of the anxiety over what just happened. We then went to a schoolwide meeting with the principal, superintendent, chief of police, and other detectives, where we found out that they did find a .22 caliber, semi-automatic hand gun that was loaded with 2 rounds of amo. This gun was found in the cafeteria.....which is right across the hall from the counseling suite. I think that is when my emotions welled up and I felt my eyes begin to tear. The reality of the danger was overwhelming. The "What If's" began to swirl around in my head and started taking me over the edge. There was an audible gasp from all when this was announced. As we left the meeting, I (jokingly) told my site supervisor I was going to start looking at suburban placements to which she replied NO! We need people like you here! Needless to say, I'm still hoping to work in an urban school because the joy I get from the kids who need and want the support, far outweighs the challenges placed on the school by those who don't have a desire to learn.

Thank You Alex!!

Alex was awesome yesterday as he waited patiently for me to call him back and reconfirm I was OK. He then made my favorite dinner and had it waiting for me when I got home later in the evening.....along with a stiff drink that was chilling in the refrigerator!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Guinness!!


My little buddy turned 2 today! In doggy land he is officially a teenager! Congrats Guinness and I hope you aren't too difficult as a teen!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back at 100%

I'm back to the gym, working out at 100% and feeling great! This past week was the first week I exercised without any pain! It is truly amazing how exercise affects your mentally. I've felt like a million bucks this past week just from spending some quality time at the gym. It feels fantastic to be back. I'm not running yet, that won't happen until at least January, but I'm back to doing everything else. I did push it a little to far yesterday with some squats and then some sharp pains, but I pulled it back and I'm feeling fine.

Now.....time to start thinking about which marathon I will be aiming for next year! You would think I would pass on the whole marathon idea after the hip stress fracture, but that isn't the case! So, Derek and I have been discussing heading to San Diego, Ca the end of May to run in the Rock & Roll marathon. I think we can totally do that! I think it's a great plan! My husband on the other hand is highly concerned for my well being and doesn't love the idea, but I'm sure I'll be fine this time around! Gold's Gym (my gym) is doing the Body Challenge again starting in January, so that will coincide perfectly with my marathon training as it will give me the added weight training that I need.

Stay tuned......

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy 50th Diane!!

Happy Birthday to my friend Diane!! She turned 50 today and we all celebrated with a surprise party at the NY Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua. What a fantastic way to ring in her 50's! Terry, you did a fantastic job pulling this all together and truly creating a wonderful surprise for Diane! Thank you so much for including Alex & I, it was fantastic and educational!

I'm slacking

I've been totally slacking on the blog writing because I've been swamped with school work!! I have so many group projects this semester, I can't even keep track of who I'm meeting and when! And, I'm pretty sure I've written more papers this semester than in my entire grad school career!! Luckily, we only have 4 more weeks, with Thanksgiving in there, so 2 of my classes are meeting only 3 more times. Now, on top of wrapping up this semester, we also need to have our thesis ideas to our advisors at some point in December. I think I know what I want to do, but I need to connect with a few more people at East so I can figure out how to go about the project.

My internship has been fantastic! I have been working with many students who are interested in how to begin looking at colleges or writing personal statements. I also started a project to find out where all the teachers, administrators, and staff of East went to college so I can create a display for the students, letting them know where these people went to college and where that college is located. Hopefully this will open their eyes to other institutions as well as start conversations about college with students who might not have thought about it. I'm excited because I sent out amost 200 requests around the school and I've already received over 75 responses representing colleges in 16 different states, Puerto Rico, and Australia! I can't wait to get the display up for the students.

Anyway, I will try to be more dilligent about posting and keeping this updated! Now that I'm back at the gym and working toward running again, I will have more to focus on in the blog!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Elect Barack Obama!

I am incredibly proud to have been a part of history yesterday! The United State of America elected it's first African American President! What an amazing night! I woke up at 5am yesterday so I could make it to the polls when they opened at 6am and proudly wear my "I Voted Today" sticker at the high school. This sticker encouraged many conversations with students about the election and what it means to them. It was wonderful!

Later that night, during my Counselor as Systems Consultant course, we ordered pizza and watched the election results roll in from each state. I was trying not to get terribly excited as we all remember what happened to Gore in 2000, but when Pennsylvania & Ohio came in for Obama, I knew things were looking good!! America spoke loud and clear yesterday......WE WANT CHANGE and Obama represents HOPE for so many people out there. Just hearing my students talk about the election and what it means to them, confirmed that this was exactly what we needed. Congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

RROY 2008

I absolutely forgot to post that I actually clinched second place in my age group for Rochester Runner of the Year 2008 by finishing the Run for Hospice 5K. Note that I said finishing as I didn't actually run the race...I kind of walk/jogged! Congrats to my friend Adam, he is officially 1st place in his age group for RROY!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grad School

I just registered for my final grad class at University of Rochester!! I can't believe I'm finally at the end of my program. I feel like I've been in school forever!! Yay!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Election '08

The Presidential election of 2008 is only 9 days away! I'm hoping our country can come together and vote for the change that we need by voting Barack Obama as our next president! Here is a fun video that encourages all to get out and vote!! I can't stress the importance of this decision! Check out some CNN articles along with other video's discussing the monster the McCain ticket has created with Sarah Palin....

McCain's own people are saying she is difficult and "a diva". Seriously, they created it, now they need to deal with it! Please don't allow this women to sit in the second most important seat in our country, it truly will be our demise.

From CNN:
"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."

"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. "Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

Seriously....do YOU want this person leading our country? I should hope not!

Vote Obama '08!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Long week....

It has been a crazy long week!! My internship has been an incredible experience! Some of the students reinforced my decision to become a counselor when they told me I should be a counselor b/c I've helped them so much! I then explained to them what I was doing at their school and that I was going to be a counselor when I was done. One of the same girls came in to see me yesterday with her 1st marking period grades b/c she wanted me to see them....little did she know, I had already peaked at them in her student record! She did very well! I love being in the city schools and I love working with that population of students! There are so many diamonds in the rough. I have already learned so much about the resilience these kids have, just by listening to their stories and the challenges they have faced in their lives.

Classes are going well. I'm in the middle of midterms, papers, etc, so it's been rather stressful the past few weeks. I can't wait until December b/c I will be officially done with all the coursework for the program. Next semester I will only need to work on my thesis and finish my internship! Whoo Hoo!!

I have been hitting the gym whenever I can, but I'm having hip and low back pain. Ugh! It makes me nervous b/c I don't want a new hip at 33! So, I'll still take it easy for a while. I had my final appt last week and he cleared me to start doing things again, but I must remain low impact. I definitely won't be running until after the 1st of the year and my next road race won't be until Johnny's Runnin' of the Green in March '09.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So....

The Red Sox didn't complete the comeback and are now on vacation, so in my world, baseball season is over! Now I can totally focus on football and the Bills continuing their fantastic season. Go Bills!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Holy Red Sox

In another exciting game, the Red Sox pulled off a win against Tampa Bay to even up the series!! They will play game 7 tonight and the winner will play the Phillies in the World Series!! GO RED SOX!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Run for Hospice '08

Today Derek & I ran to benefit Hospice and then ate our little hearts out!! This 5K has the absolute best food spread of any race I have ever done! They get about 850 runners and a huge amount of food donated by local organizations and grocery stores. Now, I didn't actually run it, I kind of walked and jogged a bit here and there and simply did it just to cross the finish line. My friend Adam convinced me to do it because I needed one more race to qualify for second place in my age group for Rochester Runner of the Year. So I crossed and I got my 6 RROY races in for this year (and had some kick ass food)!

The never ending roller coaster ride that is the Red Sox has come to a head this weekend as they were facing elimination in Thursday nights game. Alex and I turned the game off at the top of the 7th inning when the Sox were down 7-0 and we gave up hope. Damn, we totally learned out lesson!! The Sox actually came back to win it 8-7!!! So, we are looking forward to tonights game to see if they can even up the series and force a game 7!! Let's hope they can pull it off!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day Two...& other fun news!

I was back at the gym again this morning for my Cardio Interval class that I love and have missed so much over the past few months! I did everything very low impact, no jumping and I generally balanced myself on my left leg for upper body stuff, but I still got a very good workout! I'm taking Guinness to the park later and that will round out my exercise for today. I'm feeling good, but I'm still going to take it easy, I don't want to re injure it or need surgery!

Last night, I had a great time relaxing with a night to myself as Alex is in Gettysburg with his brother, nephew, and nieces. They are all very interested in spirits and ghost hunting, so what better place to do some searching! They are also lucky to be down there right now b/c the Travel Channel show Most Haunted did their first ever live ghost hunt in Gettysburg last night. They have scheduled a ghost walk for tonight in the same house the show was in last night! I can't wait to hear all about it! Judy, I will write about all the details just for you, I know how much you love this stuff!!

In other great news....the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay last night in the first game of the ALS!! Whoo Hoo!! Go Sox! Game two is tonight, let's hope they keep the momentum going!

Quick shout out to a soon to be birthday boy......tonight is my friend Jeff's big 30th bash!! He turns the big 3-0 tomorrow and we will surely be doing a midnight toast to welcome him to the 30's club!! Congrats Jeff!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back in the gym....FINALLY!!!

So I finally was able to head back to the gym today! YAY!! I didn't do anything crazy and really only focused on upper body, but I did a wee bit of cardio and it felt great! I then took the dog for a little one walk/jog around the pond at the park and didn't have any hip pain at all. I definitely feel like I just might be totally better!! I go to the Ortho one more time next week and hopefully will be given a clean bill of health!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Barack Obama for President

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a strong supporter of Sen. Barack Obama's run for President. I feel that he is not only the best suited to bring a different perspective to the government and provide the needed changes this country desperately needs but also the most real and relatable candidate. I don't think he's perfect or has all the answers, but I feel that in this time where we are facing not only US, but global economic failures, we need someone who will work toward getting us through this time. For this and many other reasons, Alex & I were excited to receive our Obama/Biden yard sign this week, which we proudly and promptly put out front!

Last night was the 2nd of 3 debates between the two presidential candidates and it was rather interesting. I found myself becoming very irritated with McCain as he wasn't saying anything and was simply repeating things he said last time and dropping names of Washington big wigs. That's it. That doesn't make me feel good about the prospects of him becoming president. Aside from the fact that his VP pick is complete looney tunes!!

Obama definitely made some strong points and did a great job of continuing to tie McCain to Bush's policies from the past 8 years. I think that is important for people to understand because if we want to get out of this mess, we need someone different. We cannot afford to continue with the same people and the same ideas. It isn't working!!! I appreciate that Obama is passionate about Education and Health Care as those are two areas I feel could make or break our country. We are not providing the proper education to most of our kids and the repercussions of that lack of education will absolutely hurt our country for years to come. McCain is all about the war and "winning" (still not sure what we are winning). That should no longer be the focus. I support our troops as they are sacrificing themselves everyday for a war which shouldn't continue any longer. My brother-in-law along with many other young men and women are or have been out there. My brother-in-law is a reservist and has been to Afghanastan once and Iraq twice! It just isn't right. We need someone who will work to help us move on from the war and focus on things internally. our country is falling apart and we are no longer the super power that we once were. We can get that back with the right leadership and the right focus!! This is by far the most important election of my life and may very well be the most important for many years to come. Please get out there and vote, make your voice heard! It is your right and your priviledge to help make a change.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My post run "friend"

This little gadget is my post running savior! The T-Roller is a fantastic little tool to work out all the muscle kinks one might have after a long run or really any type of workout! I picked mine up at the Boilermaker in Utica, NY this past summer and it has done wonders in saving me from post run muscle soreness. So, check it out, you just might love a post workout deep tissue massage as well!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The VP Debate

So Alex & I watched the debate in anticipation of some major gaffe and we were sadly let down. I will give credit to Palin for hanging in there and not making any major blunders, however, she also didn't really say anything at all. Nothin. Especially no g's. Whoever told her to speak directly to the camera deserves some credit as that seemed to be working for her in the beginning. However, when the camera stares were accompanied by winking and back woods missuse of the English language, I wanted to vomit. Seriously, I absolutely began to have a physical reaction to her, don't ya know. Let's also discuss this maverick thing.....are they kidding me? It was rather obvious about halfway through the debate that she was trained (in debate camp) to continue to repeat that they are maverick's. Enough already. Let's really talk about the issues, and not the issues that are written on your little note cards. I want to hear something of real substance come out of her mouth besides the whole hockey mom thing. If I'm to believe that she is ready to possibly be President of the United States, I need to see more than what was presented last night. There are so many other issues I had with last night, like how she wouldn't answer the questions Ifill was asking her, or winking and blowing kisses to the crowd, or using that folksy voice and verbiage to try and sway the impressionable masses, but I just don't have time to get into all of that. Again, I don't feel she completely bombed, but I also don't think she is ready to lead our country either.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's been a while....

I have been a bit crazy with grad school and the internship, so my posting has fallen to the wayside! (Sorry Judy!) I've also been thinking about the direction I might take this thing because I'm not running for the moment, and it's hard to write a journal about something I'm not doing!! A quick update on the stress fracture in my hip....saw the Ortho on Tuesday and after some X-Rays, he said it's healing nicely and I can start putting up to 40% weight on my leg. I'm still on the crutches for another 2 weeks, but he thinks he will be able to take me off of them after my next 2 week visit. Whoo Hoo! I have absolutely decided not to run again until after the 1st of the year so I can have enough time to make sure the hip is healed and start strengthening it again.

OK, so I am thinking I might go with an election discussion as that is a pretty hot topic right now, and something that gets me all kinds of fired up! It has also taken over my life (in addition to school) for the past few weeks and months. Alex & I hosted a debate party for the first Presidential debate and my friend Dina came over, along with some other Rochestarians who we connected with through the NY Obama website. We also went to see Bill Maher Live at Cornell University this past weekend and he was brilliant!! Alex, Dina, myself, and our friend Cliff took a road trip to see him this past Sunday and it was so absolutely worth it!! Raunchy as hell, but I just loved everything he said....however, Dina & I felt really bad for the sign language interpreter who had to sign some of those words!! We also ordered our yard sign and have looked into some of the Rochester helps Ohio/Pennsylvania road trips. It really is an amazing feeling to be a part of this in the hopes that our country will realize we need something new because the old just isn't working anymore!

So, we are now preparing for tonight's much anticipated V.P. debate! Our friend Jeff (and possibly Mara) is coming over and we have discussed some possible Sara Palin drinking games....for example: every time she says "shore up the economy" you drink 1....every time she says "Alaska keeps an eye on Russia" you drink 2.....every time she cracks a joke about Biden's age you drink 3 (for the sheer stupidity of that remark)....and so on!! OK, maybe that was a little low, but seriously, I am insulted that McCain's camp believes that simply by placing a woman on the ticket, they will get a woman's vote. Are they delusional? Really? Just any old woman and I should vote for her? I was a Hillary supporter, so I'm part of that target group, and I wouldn't even entertain the idea of voting this woman into the second most important office in our country. I voted for Hillary in the primary and was really hoping she could grab that nomination, but not because she's a woman, because she represents many things I align with and support. I respect McCain, I really do, he sacrificed a lot for this country.......WAY BACK WHEN!! There has to be a change. Something has to give in this country because the direction we are headed in is not good for many many reasons beyond the economy. How about Education? Does anyone realize what we are doing to the children of this country, or should I say not doing? How about we focus more energy on the inside instead of the outside. There is enough turmoil within our own borders to keep the government busy for years to come, yet, we choose to spend our energy and resources on others.....who don't even want us there!! But I digress.....and I will get off my little soap box now!

I guess, take what you want from this posting. I guess the big message here is GET OUT THERE, REGISTER, AND VOTE!! I don't care if you vote for my candidate or the other guy, (as Nike put it) just do it!! It is your right and duty as a US citizen to help make a difference. Also, I certainly welcome other opinions and ideas as I feel it always offers an opportunity for personal growth when you hear others perceptions and thoughts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Really Bad News

It's official, I will not be running anytime in the near future. My Ortho put me on crutches today and wants to monitor the stress fracture closely because (little did I know) a hip stress fracture is really bad news. If not treated, it can quickly splinter further into the hip bone causing the hip to displace and the need for a pin to be placed in the hip to stabilize. So, I definitely don't want a pin to be placed in my hip!! Ugh! Of course, I had to tell him I did the half marathon this past weekend, and that went over really well. He had me confirm that I was probably in some pain after that and of course, I couldn't lie, I was definitely feeling some pain. He showed me the MRI and it's very clear where the fracture is buried in my hip. He wants me to only be 10% weight bearing on my right leg so the hip has some time to heal. He also wants to see me every 2 weeks to make sure the fracture has not spread, causing the myriad of other issues in my hip.

This is so frustrating simply because I just love running and it's fall, so it's the perfect time of year to be out there pounding the pavement. I have a bunch of runs I was surpassed to do in the next month and now I'm out of everything. I can't even sneak a run in b/c Alex would absolutely kick my butt and really, he would have every right to do that because the repercussions of damaging my hip further would be horrible. So, I'm back to doing nothing and just keeping an eye on how I'm feeling and getting this hip to heal so I can get back to being super active again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Preferred Care Rochester Half Marathon

This was absolutely by far the worst run I have ever had in my life. Seriously. It was even worse than the Barktober Fest 5miler last September in 90 degree temps (with no shade or breeze) where I began to lose control of bodily functions when I crossed the finish! What is going on with these mid summer days in September in Rochester, NY. It is just craziness!

I had a feeling when I stepped outside at 6am yesterday morning that this was going to be a very tough day to run and I was absolutely right! The air was already so heavy and there wasn't a breeze to be found. After picking up my timing chip, I found my friend Diane in the half marathon crowd and we prepared for our sticky and sweaty 13.1 mile journey. The start siren went off at 7:45am and it was just getting warmer. It was still overcast, so we were just dealing with the 3 H's and not the sun beating on us. However, by mile 2 I knew the day was not going to turn out particularly well for me. I was already feeling fatigued and feeling tightness in my chest. I felt really bad because a poor women in front of me actually wiped out on East Ave by Wegman's b/c there was some water on the road from the rain and there was a divot in the pavement. She was OK though, we were not far from the first water stop, so volunteers were at her side almost immediately.

So, I ran for about 5 miles before having to take a walk break. My legs felt so heavy and fatigued for most of the 13.1 miles, so it really was a tough day for me. However, I was so determined to just finish, I pushed through it! My friend Adam and his girlfriend Sara were out there cheering and both times I saw them, I took a little break! The second time I wasn't feeling so hot and it was just before mile 8 maybe or 9, I can't remember. They were standing with a cop and he started asking if I wanted him to call someone to get me off the course and I said absolutely not!! I've come this far, might as well finish the last few miles! Although, my fingers had swollen to the point of looking like that might actually explode and my wedding band was cutting off the circulation to my ring finger! I couldn't even feel the cups they were handing me water in b/c it just felt like little pin pricks on my finger tips. That was definitely not a good sign at all!! At that point I was way way off my pace and basically was just hoping to finish in under 3 hours. I was actually doing a pretty consistent walk/jog and pacing the guy in front of me who was doing the same thing. However, he eventually fell back pretty far as he was visibly struggling and I was left to my own walk/jog schedule.

I think it was just before my mile 9 (fulls mile 22), the officials began to come out and started posting signs to slow down your pace due to high heat risk. I knew that wasn't a good sign at all! So, at that point, I dropped the walk/jog pacing and went with a 'run only in shaded areas' idea. That seemed to make sense to me at that point! Once I got off the canal path though, it was totally open and no shade could be found anywhere. It was miserable! Ugh!!

As I dragged on and kept checking my time, I realized I probably wasn't even going to finish in under 3hrs b/c I couldn't get my legs to run at all! They felt like cement blocks. Seriously, as if I was dragging stones around with me. I have never had that feeling of heaviness. The worst was when my body started shutting down around 11.5 miles. I was really struggling at that point and starting to have real concern about actually finishing....which was starting to piss me off because I was approaching 12 miles and I was so close to the finish!! I decided I had to suck it up and just walk the rest. It was pointless to try and force myself to run. I speed walked for quite a while, occasionally jogging a teeny little bit b/c I was so close to the end!!

It was just before I reached the corner of Frontier Field that I saw Alex walking toward me looking rather concerned! I had told him I would cross between 10:15 and 10:30 and here it was, 11am! He tried to get me to fake a run for a picture, but I just couldn't even muster up that, so he took an absolutely pathetic picture of me just walking. He walked with me until just before the final turn that took me to the finish. I sucked it up just before the corner and ran it in for a good finish! The best part was when Ellen from Fleet Feet was announcing (actually yelling into the microphone) my name and welcoming me to the finish line! Loved it! They put the medal around my neck, took my timing chip off and then I asked which way to medical so I could get some ice or something to bring the swelling down in my hands. Of course, the finish line volunteers were about to drop everything to take me over to make sure I was OK, but I assured them I was good and just needed to get something to bring my body temp down.

My friend Diane also did the race and we started together, but I told her to go ahead after a mile b/c I was already beginning to feel spent. She had an awesome run yesterday, despite the weather! Congrats Diane! Also, her daughter Heather did the full marathon and had a strong finish as well. Congrats Heather!

All in all, as I look back on yesterday's experience, I am happy that I did it and happy that I was able to finish in one piece. My hip held up, only some minor pain yesterday and today, I only had 2 blisters, and I am not terribly sore today! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who volunteered for the Rochester Marathon yesterday! You all rock!! Without the encouragement and constant checking in to make sure we were all OK as we ran by, many of us might not have finished! I especially loved the XC team just after we (half) joined the canal path. They were shaking jugs full of coins or rocks or something, but it was so loud and exciting that I couldn't even hear my IPod over their encouragements! Thank you Thank you Thank you from a back of the pack runner who probably wouldn't make it through these things without people like you cheering me to the finish and telling me that I'm looking good when I know for a fact I look pretty beat up! Thank you to all of the Rochestarians who came out to cheer for all the runners, every runner out there greatly appreciated your support! And a huge thank you to the finish area volunteers who did an amazing job of making sure every runner who crossed the finish line was OK and got me over to medical to get some ice, the massage chair volunteer who gave me an amazing massage that got my blood flowing in my arms again and allowed my fingers to stop swelling, and everyone else who simply was there to make sure the runners had a place to decompress after their hours on the course.

Thank You Rochester!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The night before....

Ok, I'm trying to keep my nerves and at bay, but I know my training has been minimal since the stress fracture and I know that is going to impact my run tomorrow. I just need to not let it get into my head too much. It's also going to be muggy and in the 70's, definitely much different than last years half where it was 45 degree's at the start! I've been hydrating a lot and my friends and I just had a nice pasta dinner with all the fixings! I'm having an eloctrolyte drink right now and then off to bed to try and get a good nights rest!

Actually, funny story about the sleeping thing.....I woke my husband up at 7:26 this morning as I started swearing at the top of my lungs because I thought I overslept and was about to miss the start of the half marathon!! I jumped out of bed, grabbed my running clothes and then realized today was Saturday! Duh! Alex was soooo pissed! Seriously! Lucky for me I was able to fall back asleep and stay there until 9am, poor Alex couldn't get back to sleep and finally got out of bed at 8am. Ooops!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I think I'm ready

I went for a 6mi run today to make sure my hip could hold up in the half. I figured if I could do 6 with no pain, I should be good for this weekend. I had some pain initially but then it faded and all was good! Yay! I'm still a little nervous, but I think I should be alright. I head to one more appt with the Ortho today and then I should be able to close the book on this injury! I can't wait for this weekend, although, it's saying it may rain! I suppose that's better than 90 degree's and sun when running that long!

Now, while the run itself was fine and I felt good, I do have 2 complaints. One, running on packed gravel sucks. It just simply sucks! They tore up my road a month ago and have yet to repave it! What the hell!!! It's now totally packed gravel and they even lined it, which doesn't give me hope that it's getting paved anytime soon. So, half of my run was on packed gravel and the other half on regular paved roads....thank god they didn't tear up the other streets in my neighborhood! OK, second complaint, a freaking UPS driver nearly took me out at a street corner! He stopped way short of the stop sign, looked at me as I was approaching the street to cross and then out of nowhere, gunned it to pull out into the road!! There weren't even any cars coming, so it wasn't like he would have to sit there for an hour if he didn't take that opportunity to pull out!! He cut the corner really close and was literally inches from me. Sweet! I absolutely gave him a piece of my mind as I was running off! So frustrating!

Alright, off to my friend Maria's house for a super duper fun Mary Kay party! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Morning Run

Derek & I did the Bruegger's Bagel 5K this morning and it went very well! I was feeling a little pain again, but not bad at all and I took it very easy. I think I'm in good shape for the half next week, I will just take is slow and easy and probably jog/walk. After the run, I went to the gym to get some weights in for the day and now I'm watching the Bills game and doing homework. What a great sunday! Go Bills!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today's Run

I did my first 5K today (Greece Police Athletic League 5K) since the middle of July and I didn't feel too bad. I had some minor pain initially, but it faded after the first mile and I felt good the rest of the run. My time wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be after not running for so long, so I'm happy with the whole morning. I did start to have some minor hip pain about 20 min after I was done running, but nothing I couldn't handle. I think I might be able to get back on track and I'm definitely planning to do the Rochester half marathon in a few weeks. Of course, I'm going to take it easy, I certainly don't want to aggrevate the injury too much!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running again......

Little by little I'm starting to run again. Yay! OK, very little running, but I'm planning a nice little 2.5 miler for tomorrow, and that will be the furthest I've run since the hip injury. I'm hoping to do a few 5K's this weekend....we'll see how the next few days go! Oh yeah, I did have a minor set back within the first 5 min of arriving at our friends house the first day of vacation. Their 90lb doberman and my 55lb aussie were chasing each other at mock 10 and in their furry, they slammed into my left hip which crushed my body weight into my right hip. Tears were in my eyes immediately as the pain was unbelievable. After a few days, I was feeling a bit better again, but damn! That was not a great way to start off!!

We are back from vacation and it was fantastic! Many good times were had by all! We had amazing weather all week and spent a good about of time on the beach in Cape Cod and then Gloucester, Ma. We took Guinness with us and introduced him to the ocean.......while he loved the water (yeah, he thinks he's a water dog), the salt water was a new and interesting taste for him. He took in enough of it to make him vomit around 7am and then have diarhea the entire next day. Sweet! Otherwise he loved it and I have some beautiful pictures of him and Alex romping in the ocean at sunset. So cute!! Guinness also made a new girlfriend in the 90lb. doberman named Nikki, that we stayed with our first night in MA. He had a blast chasing after her, he is such a ladies man! They even shared a goodbye kiss when we were saying goodbye to her owners (they thought no one was looking).

We also spent an absolutely wild and crazy night in Provincetown for Carnival. Wow.....that's about all I have to say about that! It was absolute insanity and I loved it!! We were at the parade and then stayed in town to party our asses off all night long! It was a kick ass night that ended with Spiritus pizza and some very interesting pictures.....



We also spent 2 of the most perfect beach days of the entire summer at Good Harbor beach in Gloucester with our friend Patti. It was so relaxing and gave me an opportunity to finally finish Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I pick up that book during all of my breaks from grad school and I have been so anxious to finish it before classes start next week, so, these 2 beach days were the perfect opportunity for me to lay on the beach and finish a fantastic book! Alex and I both got great tans and had an incredible time crashing into the huge waves that were rolling in during Sunday's beach trip. Neither of us could truly remember the last time we had that much fun in the ocean!! It was a blast!!

All in all, it was a great week and a perfect way to bring the summer to a close! Here's to the last few days of summer fun!! CHEERS!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Unemployed, Vacation, & a fantastic weekend....

Today is my first official day as an unemployed woman! I left my job at Nazareth College to finally finish my Masters degree in School Counseling at the Warner School, University of Rochester. I have my final internship this coming academic year, so I won't be able to keep a full time job and spend a few days a week in a high school. I'm absolutely looking forward to the internship and graduating in May '09! I began this degree program at Suffolk University in Boston back in January of 2005. I can't believe I'm finally going to graduate!! I have an internship placement at East HS which is part of the Rochester City School district and also has a very solid School Counseling model in place. This is exactly what I'm looking for because I am very drawn to working with urban youth and I feel this placement will give me the experience I need as a counselor. So, today begins my year as a full time student, wow, it's been soooo long since I have held that title!! Thank you to all my new friends from Nazareth! You have been amazing to work with and I look forward to keeping in touch.

Today also marks the beginning of vacation! Alex & I (along with Derek, Jodi, Chris, & Alana) have tickets to the Maroon 5, Counting Crows, & Sara Bareilles concert at Darien Lake tonight and then we leave for Cape Cod/Gloucester/Boston tomorrow morning. We will spend time visiting with friends back in MA and hanging on the beach. I can't wait!! What a perfect way to end the summer!

This weekend, we also celebrated the marriage of our friends Nancy & Dwight and it was an amazing ceremony and reception. Congrats to Nancy & Dwight!! Alex & I had a fantastic time!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ortho Appt.

No real news here, I met with the doctor and he (just like everyone else) says I have a stress fracture. He wanted an immediate MRI and to see me back on Monday before I go on vacation....however, due to my husbands insurance being out of area, they couldn't schedule anything until it was approved. Sweet, gotta love insurance companies, but I'm not going to start on that one. Anyway, I have to call back first thing Monday morning to schedule and hopefully get it done before I leave, but it's not looking good.

What I did learn is that a stress fracture can be detected with an X-Ray, but not very well. The MRI will actually show the stress fracture much clearer than the X-Ray. So, until I meet him again, he absolutely forbade me from running at all.....and of course I was thinking 'yeah, I got it!!' I love running, but at the same time, I also love walking and dancing and all the other fun stuff I can do with two functional hips! :) I promise, no running until I'm totally healed!!

On another note, Alex & I went to our friends house for an amazing homemade Italian dinner. Colleen & I met through running, but Ange and Alex bonded over bolognese sauce while we were running the Boilermaker last month!! So, Ange told Alex he would have us over for dinner and make his famous bolognese sauce. It was nothing short of fantastic! We had a wonderful dinner, wonderful conversation, then enjoyed dessert (thank you Wegman's) while watching some of the Olympics. It was a fantastic evening! Huge thanks to Colleen & Ange!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Still Resting...

Yep, still inactive. I went for a hike with Alex yesterday at Letchworth State Park, and it was going well until I slipped on some uneven ground and landed on my right leg. The blast of pain that shot through my hip was blinding. Anyway, my hip is still sensitive to some weight bearing activities, but it's definitely getting better. I just have to make sure to come back slowly and continue to stay on top of how my body is responding to running in particular.

On another note, Letchworth is amazingly beautiful and exactly what Alex & I needed yesterday. It was a really easy walk along the Gorge Trail and I took some amazing pictures! We are definitely planning a trip back there to hike some of the other trails (once I'm feeling much better of course). I think the fall would be perfect at Letchworth!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Injury Update & Wedding news...

I am lucky to have a Dr. that is also an avid marathoner and understands running injuries and how to work with them. Anyway, she was great and confirmed it as a stress fracture in my hip. She had a lot of x-rays taken of my hips & lower back from all angles & gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory. She also referred me to a sports orthopedist, who I actually saw last summer for knee pain, as he will be able to work with me more specifically on how to heal the hip. I will see the ortho on Aug. 15, so it will be a little over a week before I know what is going on. Per my Dr., I am not to run, bike, or even take a brisk walk. Sweet. That totally made my day.......I have to say, it's really tough on the psyche to go from a lot of activity & a goal to no activity at all.


We also celebrated my sisters nuptuals in Watertown, NY this past saturday. It was a super fun day where we were able to spend time with our family and celebrate my sister and Rich as well as my parents 40th anniversary and renewal of their vows. Congrats Karen & Rich and Mom & Dad!

To be continued.......

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bummed.....

I know it's been a little bit since I've updated my training status, and that is most likely due to my denial of an injury. I have been dealing with increasing hip pain over the past 3-4 weeks and last week I simply couldn't ignore it anymore. I tend to view pain as a temporary thing that I can just work through and move on. However, when the pain begins to prevent me from sleeping, walking, sitting, or just about anything that I'm doing, I need to pay attention. This hip pain has just been annoying for a few weeks, but I figured I'd eventually go to the chiropractor and be all set. When I set out on the 10 mi run last week, I was in excruciating pain with every step. It eventually wore off and I finished the 10 miles, however, I had difficulty walking within an hour of that. So, based on the coaches recommendation as well as my teammates, I made an appt with my chiro for 8am that Monday morning. When I saw my chiropractor, he thought it might be bursitis based on the location of my pain, and possibly some tendinitis. No biggy, he told me to cut my running by 50% and substitute with biking. I could totally do that....or so I thought!

I spent all last week half biking and limping through a short run. A mile here and there, but the pain was getting to be too much. I was having problems sleeping, I can no longer lay on my right side at all, and every time I put weight on my right leg, I have shooting pain. It's like a shock in my hip with every step. It radiates out from the hip joint and then fades after a minute. So, I was back at my chiropractor on Thursday, extremely frustrated b/c I had been resting, icing, taking Ibuprofen, and doing everything he told me to do, but not feeling any better, in fact, possibly feeling worse. So, he poked and prodded and pulled on my leg, then did an ultrasound to check some tendons and decided I needed x-rays because I may actually have a stress fracture in my hip. Sweet! So, now I'm totally banned from running until further notice and sooo not happy about that. I am going to make an appt with my primary care doctor for tomorrow and have her check me out, do the x-rays and go from there. I will have another update when I know more of what's going on.

On another note, I had to recommit to the fundraising and marathon training this past Friday (Aug. 1). With my current condition and just not knowing what is going on, I was not able to recommit. Hopefully I can transfer my fundraising to a later marathon, but that is pending doctors and stuff. All of this does not mean I'm done running, it just means I need to take a little break, take a step back, and build more slowly toward my goal of a marathon. So I don't make it this year. You bet your ass I'll be at Marine Corps next year!! And, I will be stronger than ever!

So, I will update again when I know more.........

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why am I a Non Runner?

I was asked this question recently by a friend who was wondering why I would call myself a non runner with all the running that I do. I guess I have never really considered myself a runner, even now, even a year after beginning all this training, I still don't think I'm a runner. Even after too many 5K's to count, six 10K's, two 15K's, a half marathon, along with countless hours of running to train for these events, I still don't consider myself a real runner. I am someone who runs and does it because I enjoy it. That's all, nothing more, nothing less. I'm not going to win anything and I'm not competing with anyone except myself. The rush I feel when I'm out there ticking off the miles, is the best rush I could imagine. When I finally see that finish line, whether it's the big Fleet Feet arch, or simply my house, I feel so absolutely alive and accomplished. I feel like I could take on the world. The fresh air surging through my lungs and the beautiful environment I'm surrounded with is incomparable. I especially love running in the morning when everything is at peace and the deer are munching away in the fields and the dew is still on the ground, that is what it is all about. Having the opportunity to be fully aware of the beauty that is around us every single day that we never really stop to admire. That is what running is to me. It's about peace and serenity and being at one with the environment if only for a moment. So, when asked why I don't consider myself a runner, I answer, because I'm not a runner, I'm just someone who loves to run for the pure joy of it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

TNT Training Run....10 miles @ 6am!

So yesterday morning (at 6am) was our first double digit training run and it wasn't that bad! I am shocked because I was pretty nervous getting ready for it, but really, it wasn't that bad. I ran with my friend Patty who is a Team in Training member, however, she is running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco the week before my marathon. We train together because we run at the same pace and it works for us. I just wish we were doing the same marathon! I think what really got us through that 10 miles was our constant conversation, a conversation that did not include running! We talked about everything that came up, except running. Pretty funny actually! We finished our training run in about 2 hours, so we were really taking it easy. After some light stretching and conversation back at the parking lot, we went on our way until next time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jungle Jog '08

This morning was the 2008 Jungle Jog at the Seneca Park Zoo and it also marks the anniversary of Derek's first 5K from last year! Congrats Derek!! This is when Sue & I sucked you into running! Aren't you sooo happy! ;) Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and we ran in the rain.....no really, I mean downpouring rain. The start gun went off, the thunder cracked, and the sky opened up and just unloaded on us! I have never been so wet while not actually in a pool or other body of water! It was wonderful though! Both Derek and I had our best times, which says alot b/c that is a tough course with lots of hills. We run through the zoo and the park and there are some serious hills! Anyway, good times were had by all!

Team in Training 8 mile run

Due to some party scheduling at my house, I ended up doing my 8 mi run on my own this weekend, instead of with the TNT group at 6am saturday morning. It was fine, nothing exciting happened, just an easy jog, I didn't go crazy! Next weekend we move into double digits with our first 10 mile run!! I'm nervous!! It should be fine though, I just did 9.3 at the Boilermaker! Anyway, until next time.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Utica Boilermaker 2008

Today, my friends and I participated in the largest, most competitive 15K in the country, the Boilermaker. It's just about the only thing Utica, NY is actually known for and people come from around the world, including 42 states, to participate. The Boilermaker tagline is "where you come to party and a race breaks out". Unless you are an elite runner who is here to win some of the thousands of dollars in prize money, your goal is to get to the finish so you can have free beer!! Why else would 10,000 people run 9.3 miles in the dead of summer?? The race literally corrals all runners into the parking lot of the FX Matt Saranac Brewery, where they donate over 150 kegs for the runners and their family and friends. Yep, run 9.3 miles and then drink all the free beer your little heart desires. How fantastic is that! :) OK, enough about the beer, really, this whole event is an experience that any runner should consider doing at least once (although once you do it, you will want to go back every year!!). Last year, Sue & I went out to Utica for our first Boilermaker and had such an amazing time, that we convinced nearly 10 people to join us this year! Unfortunately, Sue couldn't make it at the last minute (she is already on board for next year), but the rest of us took in the whole experience.

It was myself, Derek, Colleen, Danielle, Anthony, Diane, Patti, Dawn, & Angela who decided to run the '08 Boilermaker. The weekend started at the race expo where we picked up our packets and purchased Boilermaker gear as well as runners toys (I got the massage stick & Diane & Patti got these fancy running belts that expand and hold an amazing amount of stuff!). After packet pick up and chip check, we headed back to our hotel (Ramada Inn at the "airport"). Unfortunately, there is NOTHING around that hotel and the airport isn't really a working airport, in fact, I'm pretty sure they only have a full house on Boilermaker weekend! Anyway, with the size of our group and the lack of dining options, we chose to stay at the hotel for dinner....not a great idea. I'll take the heat for this one, I might have encouraged the idea! :) Watery red sauce over mediocre pasta was not necessarily what I had in mind.....at least the company made up for it! Once we finished the best dinner EVER...hehehe, did you hear the sarcasm...we headed out to the pool (surrounded by a chain link fence) to take an evening dip after the 90 degree day. Actually, only Derek & I took a dunk, everyone else watched us and chatted about the desolation around the hotel. We then headed in to climb into our beds and get a good nights sleep before our 6am meeting time (5am alarm!). Oh yeah, one last Ramada Inn story....the girl at the front desk was nuts!!! It's a long story and will lose alot in translation, so next time you see me, ask me about my awesome experience at check-in and how I think this girls head might pop off if she ever hears my name or Derek's name again! :) Oh yeah, also, when I checked out in the morning (5:15am) the young man at the front desk was fast, fast asleep and it took a few tries for me to wake him. Awesome!

Anyway, onto race morning and the pouring rain that we woke up too. Sweet, not exactly what I had in mind for running 9.3 miles, but I'm here, so I'll deal with it. Angela, Dawn, & I got garbage bags from the front desk and wore them to stay dry and warm before we started. We all met at 6am in the lobby and off we went to run! We got to the start line after parking under some billboard somewhere in Utica, and riding a shuttle bus across town to the start. We had about an hour to burn before the gun went off and it was raining on and off. The announcer was saying that in 30 years, it has never rained during the actual running of the Boilermaker. Once they got all 10,000 of us lined up in our starting corrals, they had us do a rain chant.....had a priest bless the event and ask for the rain to stop, and then, 15 min before the starting cannon, the skies began to clear. It was amazing!! It turned out to be slightly overcast and a little sunny at times, but pretty perfect running weather for July! Off we went, actually, 8 min went by before we even made it to the start line. The race was awesome, I loved all the band, the crowds, the llama & baby goat (thank you to the zoo!), and especially the 2 guys running near me in baby costumes. They were awesome! It was an amazing experience once again this year and I can't wait to go back again next year. In fact, some of our group even said it was the best race they've ever run! We are definitely going to make this one a tradition! Like I said earlier, where else can you run 9.3 mi and then party w/25,000 people, dance to Nik & the Nice Guys, experience an F-16 flyover, & see fireworks, all before noon!!

I definitely left alot out, but they are my memories that I will keep for years to come and way too much to type into this post (which is already a book!). This is the best race I have ever and probably will ever run, and I plan to keep doing it until my little legs won't let me do it anymore!

**Thank you to Alex for being the best support all weekend and taking amazing pictures...and waiting around for us to all finish the race! Thank you thank you!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TNT Training Run

I made it to the training run this morning....6am start (5:45 am stretching). So early!! I only did 2 mi today because I'm off to run the Boilermaker 15k tomorrow and I didn't want to burn out my legs. It was a good 2 miles! Next week we are running 8...we are getting up there!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Double Whammy

A few weeks ago I bought a used bike from Towpath Bike in Pittsford, NY. Love the bike, it is nice and light and so much more comfortable than my el cheapo bike from Target. I really want to get into biking as well so someday I could do a duathalon or even a triathalon (if I ever learn to swim). Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to ride until today. Alex & I decided to go for a nice ride on the Canal Path and we decided to start in Fairport, right in front of a new Irish pub. Now, in making this decision, I still knew that I had to do a 6 mi run b/c I had blown it off all weekend! So, off we went for a nice 14mi bike ride on the canal, followed by a pint at the pub and a little something to munch. I was feeling really good, so when I got home, I embarked on the second leg of the days workout, my 6 mi run. I told Alex....if I'm not back in 1 hr 15 min, come looking for me! While the run was tough and it was hot and I was feeling pretty tired, I made it and he did not have to come find me! So I'm on schedule for my marathon training, but even better, I'm feeling really good going into Boilermaker this coming weekend!! I'm soooo excited!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ugh!

I missed my training run this morning with Team In Training!! I totally overslept! That means I have to do my long run by myself this weekend. At least it's only 6mi, I can totally handle that on my own. I will have to be sure not to oversleep on our 10-20 mile runs!! :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July!! I started the day off with a nice 5 mile run in Fairport, NY for the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 miler. It's an annual run that draws more than 500 local runners for a nice hilly morning run before all the festivities begin. Derek & I decided to do this one and we both had a good time! I was really slowed by the multiple large hills on the course, an then the final hill that the finish line sat on......yes, that is correct, the finish line was at the top of a hill. How the heck do you sprint to the finish when it's at the top of a hill??!! Ugh! Anyway, I finished and we ran into our other running friends Adam, Colleen, & Lorraine, where we all joked that this nice hilly course prepared us a bit more for Boilermaker! We are all totally looking forward to our running weekend in Utica (8 more days!!!). Now, off to have some 4th of July fun with our friends and a pool!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fast & Furriest 10K & My Birthday!

In my quest to continue my marathon training and also participate in local runs, I decided I would do the Fast & Furriest 10K today, which is also my birthday! What a great way to start a day of celebration! :) I almost didn't make it to the run b/c it was pouring (and I mean torrential downpouring) at my house. I don't mind running in the rain, but not a major thunder & lightening storm!! Anyway, I decided to head downtown to the run in the off chance that the rain subsides........and it did!! Yay......and then it got muggy and sticky and just icky outside! Anyway, the air was heavy, but it was not too bad. The course was great, loved it, fairly flat and I met some people who run at my pace. I'm used to being at the back & I'm proud of my back of the pack runner status, but I've never actually had the cop on the motorcycle riding behind me! I guess there are always first's because that cop rode behind me (& my new friend) the entire final 2 miles. It was kind of funny b/c we weren't the last people, there were a bunch behind us still, but I think we were the last of the actual runners, the rest were walking. Either way, I had a nice chat with the cop and begged him to let me hop on the back of the bike! He was very supportive and cheered me on as I approached the finish line. It was also my best 10K time by about 18 seconds! It was a great way to start off my birthday and welcome in my 33rd year!

Now, next race is the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 miler and then the Boilermaker!! Whoo Hoo!! And of course my weekly training.........

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Harborfest 10K

Last year was the inaugural Harborfest 10K in conjunction with the Harbor & Canal Festival at Charlotte Beach. My running buddy from last summer (Sue) & I decided to run it and had a great time. So, this year I decided to go back for the second round and convinced my friend Derek it would be a great idea for him as well! It is really a challenging course even though it's all on bike paths. There is one hill in particular that is literally a 90 degree climb! Insane! I was doing well up until this hill which was located just over 2 mi into the 6 mile run. Yep, totally lost steam from that point on (I know the same thing happened last year)! I was still feeling OK up until about mile 5 and then the heat and the sun finally hit me and I started feeling dizzy. Awesome!! There was a bike patrol a bit behind me, so I knew someone would be there if I keeled over before the finish. I stopped to walk very briefly and realized the dizziness got worse if I stopped, so I started up again and made it to the finish. Unfortunately, the minute I crossed the finish line and stopped to allow them to take my timing chip off, everything started spinning and I lost my balance. Sweet. Boots from Fleet Feet (they timed the run) grabbed me and guided me over to the water/oranges table so I could get some nutrients back into me and re-hydrate. My friends Derek & Adam found me and took over the duty of making sure I didn't pass out! After a few oranges, a banana, lots of water and ice, and about 15 min in the shade, I was feeling much better! I definitely had not drank enough water the day before the run, which I'm usually pretty good about. Oh well, lesson learned, take it easy and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! One more 10K next Saturday (which is also my birthday!) and then the Boilermaker! Whoo Hoo! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

First Team In Training Run

Well, today was the first TNT run at Mendon Ponds park. It was great to meet the rest of the team members and run with the coaches. We started promptly at 7am, leaving from the Beach Parking Lot. Wow, I have never run in the park, but I've heard others talking about how hilly it is. I should have taken them more seriously!! It is very hilly! We did 4 mi and I found another team member, Patricia, who runs at my pace, so we ran together the whole way. The coach, David, ran with us for most of the run which really helped because he was giving us pointers on form and breathing. I have to say, training in Mendon Ponds for the next 18 weeks will definitely prepare me for whatever the Marine Corps Marathon can throw at me!

We also talked about different fundraising ideas, and Patricia and I have decided to get together and do some joint fundraising. She is actually running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco a week before the Marine Corps, so we won't be traveling together unfortunately.

Anyway, I felt great at the end of the run and we ran about a 10:30ish pace for the duration of the 4 mi. Not to shabby!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Temple Beth El 5K

OK, so I was totally looking forward to this run, not because of the actual run, but because of the absolutely most delicious pancake breakfast after the run!! I'm so motivated by good food!! Anyway, I wasn't feeling up to par that morning, but whatever, I'm not competitive, I just run for the hell of it and because I can. Well, I got through the run after a rough 1st mile and then picking up speed and passing a ton of people in the last mile. I felt pretty good at the end, although I was off my best time by nearly 40 seconds. Whatever, I was still over 2 min better than last year when I did this run. Anyway, I'm off eating pancakes and yakin it up with friends, when I hear my name called......I started looking around and asking people why the heck they said my name?? Did I win a door prize?? What the heck?? Then someone told me they think I placed 3rd in my age group! Seriously, you have got to be kidding me. Who's trying to pull a fast one on me? So I go up and ask the guy if I was correct in hearing my name and sure enough, lowly little back of the pack runner me placed 3rd in my age group! I got a wonderful Medved waterbottle (to add to my collection) and some sample packets of recovery stuff and was on my way. On a normal day, my age group is incredibly competitive and I regularly rank about 18 or so in my group, so you can see how this was quite a shock! Anyway, I was just cracking up about this and then when I checked the times, realized if I had a good running day and any sense that there was no one in my age group running, I could have come in 2nd b/c I missed second by under a minute! It was a really slow day for the 30-34 age group! So now I will run every race as if I have a shot at getting something because obviously, you never know who is running from your age group! Lesson learned!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Canal Run

Ick. That is all I have to say about my attempt at a 10mi training run w/Guinness. Ick. We did about 6.3 mi when all was said and done and I did a bunch of walking (he tried to keep running by trotting next to me). Not because I physically or mentally couldn't run it, I actually felt really good today. If I had just bought my new running shoes earlier rather than later, I probably wouldn't have had a problem, but I didn't, and my old running shoes with the inserts have now caused a ridiculously huge blister on the arch of my foot. I could barely even walk back, it was soooo painful. I've been getting blisters from these shoes for about a month or so now and really should have picked up a new pair sooner, but I didn't, and I have no good reason for why I didn't except stupidity. Luckily, my friend Adam was working that afternoon at Medved so I could pop in and get my new running shoes. Before I bought my current shoes (Brooks Adrenaline), I had been wearing Saucony's and loved them, so, I decided to go back to the Saucony's. I love my new shoes, they are so comfy and just in time for the Temple Beth El 5K this weekend! Thanks Adam & Medved!

Chase Corporate Challenge '08

Last night was a total blast!! Myself and 7 of my collegues ran/walked the annual Corporate Challenge at RIT. There was a record of over 11,100 participants from over 400 companies in the Rochester area. We had so much fun as we jogged through the 3.5 mi course! It took us a while as we were in the heart of the crowd, but we had so much fun and my co-worker I ran with, Linda, did awesome as this was her first running event! I roped her in about a month ago :)

I have to say, the best part of the night was the post race food provided by our wonderful team captain. He got us all Wegman's sub's with the Wegman's extra super special oil and they were amazing!! I now have a new obsession of Wegman's super secret oil on subs!! I even ate the second half of my sub for breakfast this morning!! All in all, excellent weather, perfect night, yummy beers and food post race and lots of good people! Couldn't ask for a better event! Now.....I need to get ready for Lake Placid!! Ugh! I have scheduled a 10mi run for this afternoon.................Guinness is back to running with me and hopefully will push (or pull) me through this one!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guinness & I

Well, Guinness has rejoined the doggie-running-with-owner world and is doing so awesome!! I actually never enjoyed running with him last year because he was all over the place, but tonight, he could not have been better!! It was amazing. Of course, he had just spent the entire day and doggie daycare, so he was already a bit exhausted from romping with his doggie friends, but whatever, he was the perfect running partner. He stayed right next to me and never wandered! Loved it!

Now, I have been hesitant to run with him b/c he was so difficult last year, but what prompted me to take his tonight was his poor report card from daycare. I feel like a bad parent going in there sometimes b/c I generally get the he could be better speech. Love it. Today was no exception, in fact, they asked me not to bring him back tomorrow!! Crap!! My husband is out of town and I have class and the Corporate Challenge. Wonderful, my perfect angel at home, but hellraiser at daycare dog now has to stay cooped up in the house for a million hours tomorrow. Lovely. So, that is why I opted to take him for the run with me, figuring that would encourage him to be a bit more tired and hopefully not too unhappy tomorrow. I'm glad I did b/c now I know he is learning his leash manners when it comes to running and he can accompany me more in the future. In fact, I think I will take him on my 10 mi canal run on friday, I bet that will tire him out!! :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lilac 10K

Well, I finished my first 10K of the season today. Last year I did the 5K version of this run and wow, the 10K is so much more difficult!! Particularly because the last 1 1/2 miles if a gradual uphill. Ugh! Anyway, I finished in 1:10, which is only 2 min faster than my best 10K last season,, so while it wasn't the time I was hoping for, it is still better than what I ran last year so I know I'm still improving! Shockingly, I'm not sore........yet, we will see what tomorrow brings!! 4 weeks to the Lake Placid 1/2 Marathon!! Maybe I will get Guinness out there running with me now that the weathers better!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to Back.....

This weekend I did a 5k saturday and a 5k sunday. This was a first for me as I generally try to keep it to one race a weekend as I am really a novice runner! Honestly, it wasn't that bad as I would have run 3 miles both days anyway! I definitely ran better on aturday, but the crowd was also smaller by about 500 on saturday! The first run was the Run for the Young in Greece, NY and was a great time with incredibly yummy pizza and fantastic chair massages post race! How could I possibly pass up that race!! I had pretty much the same time as my last 5k, so that's not too bad. The sunday run (Mother's Day) was the annual Pink Ribbon Run for breast cancer and is an all women's run. There were over 800 women running the 5k that morning and it was awesome! It took some time to get to the start and get moving into the course, so I lost about 30 seconds from saturday, but oh well, it was a nice jog along Lake Ontario and a beautiful morning! Both runs were fantastic and I felt good.....for the most part!

I did learn something new about myself this weekend.....don't eat anything after 7pm the night before a race, especially a BLT, Sweet Potato Fries, Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Oil, and Cheesecake! Ugh! My system was not happy at all either morning! So, now I know, I must stick to my running diet before races and never ever eat at 9 or 10pm the night before!! I will absolutely keep that in mind as I get ready for the big Lilac Festival 10k this coming sunday! :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Body Transformation Challenge

I've been participating in a Biggest Loser type program at my gym (Gold's Gym) for 12 weeks now. It ended this weekend with final weigh in and measurements as well as photos. It has felt amazing to lose some weight and just overall, feel fantastic!! I feel stronger and more confident as well as excited that clothes I haven't worn in forever are now fitting! It was hard walking in there the first day and having someone take my picture and do my measurements, it made what I'd done to my body a true reality for me. Although it was difficult, it was the best thing I could have ever done! It made me aware and it made me not want to sit by and watch myself while I self distruct. Anyway, my final numbers show the work that I put in over the past 12 weeks because, I lost 13.5lbs, 8.3% body fat, 4 in off my hips & chest, 4.5 in off my waist, 2 in off my thigh, and 1 in off my arm! This is just the beginning, I still have a long way to go, but it has really educated me on how to take better care of myself. The best part about it is the change in my running! I 100% attribute my time differences to the change I've made to my body and the crazy workouts I've been doing at the gym. Thank you so much to everyone at Gold's Webster, this experience has changed my life!! :)